Intro & Summary
A quick paced, fast-thinking strategic board game, Hero Academy can be a bit of a mixed bag due to poor marketing/DLC practices, but because of its unique nature and cheap price, it's still a diamond in the rough.
Deep strategy and competitive leaderboards are available, but it's also very accessible to casual players. It's very solid and concise on the whole.
* Options to Start games with your Steam friends, Twitter Friends/Followers and more are very useful and notifications of your game progress work well
* Great looking assets and themes, though marketing these as DLC is going too far
* Good Tutorial
There's a real problem with the time it can take to play a match, since the fast pace is sometimes half of the fun in Hero Academy. It plays like chess via traditional mail, in that you can wait hours or even days for your opponent to return a move (there's even an achievement to take 24 hours+ to take a turn), which isn't in itself a bad thing because it helps keep it casual enough that you can have 10+ games open at the same time and not have to worry about committing to each, but it would've been so simple to add options to set time-limits and game-closing options to enforce quicker games, which many people want from a game like this.
The DLC offers extra teams with avatars, and some include items for TF2 and while the extra content is fairly good, it's still a jarring way to use DLC for most people, especially when it affects people who are not willing to buy the DLC negatively, essentially creating a pay-to-win feel, albeit not entirely in your face.
* Selling cosmetics and styling as DLC is fine, but selling teams which affect global gameplay leaves a sour taste for most
* No options to play only faster paced games
* Annoying Robot Entertainment DRM
Priced at between £5.59/7.99€/$7.99 and £12.99/16.99€/$16.99 at the time of review. The nature of this game makes it one of the most replayable games around, and you'll likely continually find yourself coming back to old games.
However, it's also available on iOS, and feels a lot more casual on there due to the more immediate nature of PC gamers. It's also much cheaper on mobile and so is probably the better option for many.
The DLC offers extra teams with avatars, and some include items for TF2. While the extra content is fairly good and adds a lot if you know your playstyle, it's still a jarring way to use DLC for most people, especially when it affects people who are not willing to buy the DLC negatively, essentially creating a pay-to-win feel.
You will probably never use some of the Teams, so if you've never played before, buy the base game only and find out which paid teams you like, if any.